This week went well. I only really have one experience to share but it was likely the best experience I have had on my mission.
On Friday, I received word that a family that I had taught in Mesa would be baptized the following day. This was very exciting, but short notice. Fortunately, we were able to find a ride.
The parents were married that very afternoon by the Bishop and then they and two of their 5 children were baptized (the other 3 aren't 8 yet).
When I arrived, I walked up to the Elders that are currently serving in that ward and asked who was baptizing them. They looked at me in a panic and said, "You are! Didn’t you get our message?!" I had not gotten the message but fortunately had come with a change of clothes.
I was able to baptize the father and mother and another Elder baptized the kids. It was really nice to talk to the husband in the changing room afterward and see how much he has grown in the past 6 months. One of the things he talked about was how he couldn't understand why everyone was trying to get them married. It didn't hit him until he heard about eternal marriage. Then, he noticed the happiness that sealed families had; he could see the difference, and he wanted it for his family. That was the turning point. He then saw marriage and baptism as steps toward an eternal family.
I was a little in shock hearing him bear his testimony to me. I have grown to love this family. I am so glad that they made the decision to be baptized. It fills me with joy that they see the purpose behind it and that they have their eyes set on being sealed in the temple.
I know that I have said it before but I want to again say that this is the reason that I am here as a missionary. It's not only to teach and to serve and to baptize and to activate. The goal that we have for everyone is to be sealed in the temple as a family: husband and wife, parents and children. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for. To help individuals and families live worthy of being sealed eternally in the temple. This is all possible because of the restoration of the Gospel and the Priesthood. I know that it is true. I have seen it change the lives of the people that I have taught and that, in turn, has changed my life.
I know that the priesthood is restored to the Earth and that through it we are able to be sealed to our families for eternity and receive the ordinances necessary to live with our Father in Heaven again. I know that the Savior lives. I know that the atonement that he made for each of us has power to cleanse us as we repent, and we can always repent. He loves us. I love Him. And I look forward to the day when I can see Him. I know that these things are true. This knowledge has blessed my life and the lives of countless others. Although I am far from perfection, I know that the Lord loves me as He loves all of His children. And He loves you.